Features

VillageReach looks back on a tough year

2020 marked the 20th year in which VillageReach has been operating in Africa – and it was by far the toughest they ever faced. The non-profit organisation – launched in…

Drones and utility infrastructure inspections

One area in which drone technology has proved its usefulness since it arrived on the scene has been in the way it has made some jobs safer for humans, who…

Calling on you, drone family…

Morning all. A bit of a heavy one to start today. We have a dream for the story of the drone in Africa. Not the war drone, no. Africa has…

Blazing the drone trail with Suzanne von Rauenstein

Suzanne von Rauenstein used to fly helicopters. She still does to be honest. But these days most of her time is spent behind the controls of a drone, as she…

What happened to the drone industry during the pandemic?

It is now official – the year 2020 was terrible for humans. It was great for drone business. With the benefit of hindsight, we know we would have done a…

Women and Drones Fireside Chat with Kim James

If you do not know what Women and Drones Africa Chapter’s Fireside Chats are about; they are the weekly orgy of female drone professionals and enthusiasts of drone technology on…

The focus is on the camera: DJI’s Air 2S is here

Seeing as we have not laid our hands on the new DJI Air 2S yet (your fault DJI), we will have to take DJI’s words on it for now. Which…

SA wildlife conservation trust hits ground running following RPAS certification

Organisation to use drones to drop flappers on power cables in bid to save birds Three years. That is what it took for the Endangered Wildlife Trust to obtain their…

Drone Diva Desi to address the Drones Conference

The 2021 edition of the Drones and Unmanned Aviation Conference – set for June 24 and 25 in Johannesburg, South Africa – is pulling out all the stops to ensure…

Drones and the construction world

When thinking about tech-forward industries, construction is likely not the first sector to come to mind. The industry has been notorious for its historically pedestrian uptake of modern technology, remaining…

ADDA alumni blazing own path in Malawi

At the Africa Drone and Data Academy (ADDA) – the first and to date the only school in Africa dedicated to teaching African youth about drone technology – they do…

Trailbazing Women: Virginie Uwimana, Namibia Flying Labs

This week on Trailblazing Women, Women and Drones Africa Chapter’s weekly interaction with African female drone industry players, Louise chats with Virginie Uwimana, founder of Namibian drone services company Kanie…

Kim’s take on security drones in 2021

Reproduced below is the ‘Drone Chick’ Kim James’ take on drone technology in the security industry in South Africa. You know those kind of drones – the ones that keep…

Deloitte’s steps to scaling sustainable drone delivery operations in Africa

It seems like there is trouble in paradise for most drone delivery projects in Africa. Not for Zipline though. Zipline’s operations in Rwanda, Ghana and lately, Nigeria, are fine; and…

Zimbabwean agric drone start-up happy to be flying over fields again

The last time they were out, the maize crop in Zimbabwe was just a green shoot feeling the sun’s warmth for the first time and barely a few centimetres above…

Drones surveying damage to the West African coastline

None of the drones being used to map out the scale of land degradation on the west African coastline have yet to endure the drowning ordeal this legend had to…

Drones and their place in dangerous working environments

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation into an accident where a Squirrel helicopter struck a powerline pole and crushed to the ground, killing the pilot in the process –…

FPV drone flies over boiling Iceland volcano

A volcano that has been sleeping peacefully for the last 800 has blown its crater in Iceland – and a drone was there to capture some incredible video footage of…

In conversation with Sonet Kock

Sonet Kock knows the law. Especially as it applies to drone technology in South Africa. Bottom line; you wanna listen to Sonet talking drones. The founder of AviComply, a consulting…

Uganda Flying Labs try hand on livestock management using drones

Remember those good old days of our fledgling boyhood lives in rural Africa? Days filled with youthful exuberance innocence, which we spent flapping like fish in the natural pools, formed…

The case for medical drones in Africa

Morning folks. Today our attention has been drawn to a report from Zimbabwe, in Southern Africa where NewZWire reports that the government has so far failed to scratch the surface…

Right up the alley

We do not have much to say; but if you have no idea what they mean when they talk about regular drone footage and that of FPV drones, we have…

USA team awarded for safely delivering an organ by drone

A research team at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in the USA has been rewarded for trusting a drone to deliver an organ for a patient who had…

Analysing the data team behind life-saving drone flights

Keller Rinaudo, the CEO of fast-growing drone logistics company, Zipline could not have said it better: “All our customers really care about is whether something goes from point A to…

Women and the drone world

The drone business might have started as just a hobby for most men, but for many women, the journey has not always been that rosy. Yet, full with the knowledge…

The women of Flying Labs on International Women’s Day

For the past six years, humanitarian robotics non-profit organisation WeRobotics has been working really hard to empower local drone start-ups with the right tools for them satisfy all contracts, local…

DJI has not caught a cold in the USA yet – but for how long?

We all loved Romeo Durscher as the face of public safety drones during his time at DJI. Then – terrified of losing such an influential voice at time when the…

Lonely at the top: women and drone technology in Zimbabwe

When drone technology gained cult popularity with a small racing community in Harare, Zimbabwe around 2016, Diana Banda was of the pioneer drone racers to don the goggles and get…

Introducing the DJI FPV

Do you remember those alien fighter jets in the movie Independence Day? The new DJI FPV (first person view) drone looks like a miniature version of that. Not that it’s…

World trade body urges Africa to stay abreast with new technology

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has warned against the potential of emerging technologies creating a greater digital divide, alienating lower income countries – especially those in…

Reality check: Unmanned Air Mobility and the challenging road ahead

We do not think any professional in the delivery drone space was under any illusions about the amount of work that needs to be done until drones can be fully…

Show me your drone: In conversation with ADDA’s first graduate

We are sure there will come a time when the African Drone and Data Academy in Malawi will be the Harvard of Drone training in Africa, and people will walk…

Trouble in EHang paradise

Chinese drone maker fends off fraud allegations You could say something had to go wrong for the EHang fairy tale. The Chinese passenger drone manufacturing company had everything going for…

Women blazing the GIS industry with drone technology

Perhaps it was a good thing that Women and drones decided it was time they stretched their reach to other parts of the world outside the organisation’s home base in…

Update: NASA’s Perseverance makes safe touchdown on Mars

203 days ago, on July 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Florida, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) largest and most advanced rover yet – the Perseverance…

UAV set for historic Mars landing

We know this might have nothing to do with Africa but (in Spider Man’s voice, just after he was snapped back to life and reunites with Mr Stark for the…

High time the African Union gave drone technology the real chance it deserves

We have a bone to chew with the African Union. Five years after the then AU Commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma appointed a panel of really smart people (they…

Drone helps save hiker on Table Mountain, Cape Town

It is February 15 today; exactly two months to the day the Western Cape Government Health’s Emergency Medical Services’ Drone Rescue Project were finally granted a Remote Pilot Aircraft Systems…

The 2021 drone horoscope: Africa edition

We all know what the year 2020 was like to all of humanity. We were all happy and looking forward to the start of another year – then just like…

Women and Drones Trailbazers chat: Zethu Gumede

From KwaZulu Natal with love. It is Zethu Gumede in the spotlight this week, in the latest instalment of Trailblazing Women on Women and Drones . A native of Kwazulu…

Drones lead landslide rescue efforts in biggest drone operation in Europe

Around 4AM in Norway on the 30th of December last year, a hillside gave way in the village of Ask in the Gjerdrum region in eastern Norway, about 30 kilometres…

Leading African drone professionals in conversation

They do not waste time, do they? Just a few days ago, Women and Drones announced the launch of its first international chapter in Africa; and today, the Women and…

Drones, 5G and smart cities

With drone technology making nothing of a necessarily miraculous rise in the past year, largely thanks to the need to feel the gap left by the imposition of lockdown restrictions…

The 2021 drone regulations landscape

Ever since drone technology started making solid inroads into the mainstream commercial and industrial operations, the laws governing them have been correspondingly revolving. In some parts, the regulatory changes have…

The case for BVLOS drone deliveries

In the below article, Elsight Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Roee Kashee presents the case for governments worldwide to allow beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone deliveries. Kashee argues…

Scared to enter the sewer? Roll in the caged drone!

Swiss drone manufacturer Flyability surely knows a thing or two about drones in hostile environments. From their inaugural GimBall – which rolled away from the 2015 Drones for Good in…

Niger’s Kountche has big plans for West African drone community

It is not every day that you find a former president’s grandchild staying in the national headlines for reasons that have nothing to do with politics and scandal; for most,…

On our way: Zipline’s quest to be the medical drone logistics company of choice

Anybody remember Bata? Of course, we are kidding. Who would claim not to know Bata, the shoe making company that – growing up – achieved the unique feat of convincing…

The 2021 drone horoscope

Kevin Sartori, co-founder of drone software company, Auterion has his, as well as world leading drone professionals’, outlook for the drone industry in the new year. By building an open-source…

Drones in 2020

2020 It has been a bit challenging as a year, hasn’t it? What with the global pandemic that sneaked upon humanity and set all its plans for the year awry….

Top humanitarian drone expert leaves DJI

It does feel like a death in the family; and it is in a way. Romeo Durscher – on of the most prominent evangelists for humanitarian drones in the world…

500 lives rescued – and still counting

It is a real shame that almost five years since drone technology started making inroads into the African continent, their success stories in official government and other public sector circles…

What should Africa do to win the Game of Drones?

The just ended Drones and Unmanned Aviation Conference 2021 had experts covering various issues that included the legislative and regulatory situation in Africa and in general and South Africa in…

Up and running… again

This will be a very, very, very quick and short one for you guys. We are delighted that the online magazine is up and running again, after almost a month…

Drones and climate change

When Dania Montenegro stepped out of the boat onto Gardi Sugdub, a tiny Caribbean island off the coast of Panama last fall, it was hurricane season. She walked through ankle-deep…

Flying Labs Network turns five

Nine thousand dead. 22,000 injured. Thousands and thousands of homes reduced to rubble; and hundreds of thousands of people left homeless. That’s was Nepal on April 25, 2015. It was…

UNDP’s tribute to African innovation in fighting COVID-19

Two drone technology enterprises have made the grade among 48 other ventures by young Africans whose innovative works to combat the COVID-19 scourge has been recognised in a special magazine…

Government role in growth of drone technology

Written by Joe Mariani, Research Manager, Centre for Government Insights at Deloitte; and Peter Liu, Managing Director, Deloitte Today’s drone technology owes its lineage to work at the Defense Advanced Research…

The eye in the sky

Drones have changed how we see the world. Even more profoundly, drones have transformed how we experience the world – how we decide the events that matter and create our…

DJI’s Schulman: Time for drone industry to come together

There is a Zimbabwean adage which goes, one man’s troubles will not stop another from eating. DJI has come to realise the truth of this saying of late, as they…

Drones for sustainable development in the Global South

The best way technology can witness an exponential growth for citizens of the Global South is by promoting local technological entrepreneurship. At least that is the submission of Leka Tingitana,…

EGLE drone drowned by eagle dredged

You know that drone which we reported to have lost turf war with a bald eagle and got drowned in lake Michigan? It was dredged up on Tuesday, muddy and…

Police drones cannot come soon enough

It was the sound of gunfire, dynamite and screams that woke residents of Esther Park this morning. The middle density suburb about a kilometre or so to the South of…

Celebrating the persevering will of Elong

Today, we celebrate the achievements of William Ndja Elong, a young Cameroonian whose dream of producing drones made in Africa has seen remarkable success. Elong is 27 now; but he…

What makes a good drone law?

Below we reproduce an article from Drone Industry Insights, a reputable business intelligence company offering insights into the commercial drone industry. The article was written by Millie Radovic, a Market…

Global pandemic inspires era of delivery drones

WASHINGTON – Cough medicine, snacks, baking ingredients: Kelly Passek has shopping delivered weekly to her yard in Christiansburg, Virginia – by a drone. The flying vehicle comes with little fuss,…

Drones in construction

Construction industry professionals have long envisioned technological disruption to address common challenges of time and cost overruns to construction productivity and material wastage. Gone are the days when tasks at…

Hands on with Inspire Africa’s Drone Coding tools

The Inspire Africa group is making a positive impact among school kids, mostly in Southern Africa today, through their STEAM education curriculum that allows the students to use drone technology…

Charging your drone battery – in five minutes

They did it with cell phones and electronic vehicles. Now Israeli fast charging battery technology pioneer StoreDot has made a drone battery that will charge in five minutes. On Wednesday,…

Fighting the drone-lash

Is banning drones on grounds of country of origin wise, or does it lead to false sense of security? The war for data control is chiefly because data is the…

The case for drone technology in mining

Fifty-one miners died in South Africa last year. In statistical terms, the figure has fallen to record lows, as safety standards have improved of late. But still, losing 51 breadwinners…

Armyworm war goes aerial in Zambia

A Zambian agriculture technology company has taken it upon itself to help eradicate the armyworm plague in the country. Operating out of the capital city of Lusaka, Sunagri Investments has…

Tree-planting drones for Madagascar’s lost forests

Madagascar used to be green. Really green. But no more. In the 2,000 short years that man landed on the East African island nation in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar has…

Drone Council SA to hit ground running

Commercial drones have become a big – a very big – business in the world, and South Africa wants a slice of the pie. In 2019, reputable research organisation, Research…

AcquahMeyer: From spraying crops to spraying market places

WASHINGTON – Towards the end of 2017 in Accra, Ghanaian pilot Eric Acquah founded AcquahMeyer Drone Tech, a crop spraying subsidiary of Acquahmeyer Aviation, which specialised on using drones to…

Cote d’Ivoire: Incorporating drones into the UTZ Certification Process

In the Ivory Coast, the UTZ Certified programme has called upon drone technology to help in expediting the certification for farmers who wish to comply with sustainable forming protocols that…

Saving the forests with Eden and DroneDeploy

CALIFORNIA – Los Angeles-based tree planting organisation, Eden Reforestation Projects, last week celebrated their fifteenth anniversary by announcing that they had planted over 333 million trees in the eight countries…

Inspecting the power grid in hotter temperatures

It is always summer time somewhere in the world; and while the summer season is always welcome for all the joys and opportunities it presents, energy companies the world over…

DJI keeps tabs with #DronesForGood

With one Ghislaine in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it would be fair to assume that the world has forgotten about Ghislane Ihimbazwe, the little girl from Rwanda…

The drone age and Urban Air Mobility

Drones, personal flying vehicles and air taxis may be part of our everyday life in the very near future. Drones and air taxis will create new means of mobility and transport…

Government role in adopting drone technology into health delivery

The headlines are everywhere—there is a game changer in the fight against COVID-19. Drones are on their way to deliver samples and airdrop personal protective equipment (PPE), and are even…

Time for authorities to rethink drone policy

It has taken an event of almost biblical proportions to demonstrate just how much we truly rely on the care and services medical practitioners give us. But the pandemic has also…

Behold… the Drone Age cometh

We know drones are cool. But it seems, with the way drones have been employed in response to the devastation of COVID-19 – delivering emergency supplies, urging people to stay…

India slowly warming up to the goodness of drones

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, drones have proved to be quite utilitarian. Not only have they helped with surveillance and crowd control, but also have been used to…

Painting the skies red and white – the Zipline drone delivery story

American drone healthcare distribution company Zipline has been enjoying great success supplying life-saving emergency medicine and equipment in the East African states of Rwanda and Ghana, delivering blood and other…

Youth rising to the challenge of drones in Zimbabwe

Tawanda Chihambakwe. He is a young Zimbabwean who thought he was headed for a decent career in media and fintech, but a chance meeting with a drone changed all that….

Sprayer Drone for precision agriculture

Award-winning Zimbabwean drone start-up, Alley Capital Group are bringing a new dimension to farming in the country – aerial crop-dusting using drones. The founding duo of Piwai Chikasha and Takudzwa…

Hello World… We are Drones.R.Africa

Welcome to this, the home of African drone and UAV technology news, which we are opening amid the pomp and fanfare of… no pomp and fanfare at all. It is…

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